India

Cricket Diplomacy: Pakistan Reduces Jail Term of Gopal

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has reduced the jail term of an Indian, Gopal Das , imprisoned for 24 years, ahead of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s India visit. Das, imprisonment in 1987, was set to be released by the end of this year. However, acting on the advice of the Pakistan Prime Minister, its President on Sunday remitted the remaining term, presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said in Islamabad on Sunday.

zpakistani President Asif Ali Zardari

Zardari’s goodwill gesture came soon after Gilani accepted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s invitation to watch the cricket world cup semi-finals between India and Pakistan in Mohali.

The Supreme Court of India had made an honour appeal to the Government of Pakistan, Babar said. A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had appealed to the Pakistan government to remit the remaining period of Das’ sentence and release him on humanitarian grounds, in response to a petition filed by Das’ brother Anand Vir earlier this month.

Babar said media reports had mentioned that the bench had taken the unusual step of appealing to Islamabad to consider granting remission to Das on humanitarian grounds.

“The President signed the remission advice in the wee hours of Sunday, soon after the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was accepted and it was decided that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani will proceed to Mohali to witness the semi-final cricket match between the teams of the two countries,” Babar said.

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